James A. (Jymm) Hoffman has a Bachelor's Degree in Museum Studies from Salem College, (now Salem-International University,) Salem, West Virginia, and has been a full time blacksmith from 1981 to 1988 and from 1990 to the present, specializing in museum quality reproductions and custom orders. Items range from cooking utensils and fireplace equipment to architectural hardware, lighting devices, and tools. He continued his business on a part time basis from 1988 to 1990, while working at Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York, as the Interpretive Programs Manager. He was listed in the 1993 "200 Best Craftsmen" issue of Early American Life, and again in 1996, 1997, 1998. In the June 2008 issue of "Early American Life," he was also one of the featured blacksmiths in the article "Handmade Nails."
When Jymm is not working in his shop in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, he can be seen throughout the northeastern and midwestern parts of the United States at various craft shows and historical re-enactments demonstrating his art with an authentic reproduction of an 18th. century traveling forge. He also offers hands on instructions for those interested in learning the blacksmith’s trade.
Jymm has been an instructor at Touchstone Center for the Crafts near Farmington, Pennsylvania, on numerous occasions. He was also chosen as one of four featured demonstrators for their first “Hart Moore Hammer In” in 2002, as well as demonstrating for other regional blacksmith conferences.
In 2002, 2003, & 2004, Jymm received a grant to teach an apprentice with the Apprenticeship in Traditional Arts Program from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency in the Governor's Office of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in partnership with the Institute for Cultural Partnerships, as well as a grant for a Fellowship in 2005. He also recieved a grant in 2004 from the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance to teach "at risk kids" at Pressly Ridge At Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania.
James A. (Jymm) Hoffman is also a member in the following organizations:
The Artist Blacksmith Association of North America: http://www.abana.org/
The Pittsburgh Area Artist Blacksmith Association: http://www.paaba.net/
The Appalachin Blacksmith Association: http://www.appaltree.net/aba/index.htm
The Brigade of the American Revloution: http://www.brigade.org/
HM 40th. Regiment of Foot: http://www.najecki.com/40thfoot/40index.html
Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area: http://www.riversofsteel.com/TraditionBearers/toodarnhot/index.html